What Causes Sore Throat? 13 Possible Causes You Should Know

Bacterial Infections

Aside from viruses, bacteria can also cause sore throats. Bacterial infections can occur with or without a strep test positive for Group A Streptococcus. The most common cause of bacterial sore throat is Streptococcus pyogenes. This bacterium causes strep throat.

Strep throat is typically characterized by red and swollen tonsils, a fever, and exudate on the back of the throat. Strep can also cause white spots or tongue streaks, known as “Ruddles’ spots.” Other bacteria that can cause sore throats include Haemophilus influenzae, Moraxella catarrhalis, and Streptococcus pneumoniae.

To treat a sore throat, doctors typically prescribe antibiotics. The most common antibiotics for strep throat are cephalosporins, such as amoxicillin. However, these drugs can cause side effects in some people, so discussing your options with your doctor is essential.